Big enough to be overwhelming, still intimate enough to feel the pulse of time, Black Canyon of the Gunnison exposes you to some of the steepest cliffs, oldest rock, and craggiest spires in North America. With two million years to work, the Gunnison River, along with the forces of weathering, has sculpted this vertical wilderness of rock, water, and sky.
Like pages in a book, the rock layers of Black Canyon and Curecanti tell a story of past environments, ancient animals and dynamic processes of change. But unlike a book that we can read in a short time, this geologic book has to be read from a different point of view. Time is thrown out of balance here, and we need to see the land from a very different perspective.
The Black Canyon is incredibly deep and sheer, with plunging cliffs, soaring buttresses and a thundering river.
The Black Canyon hosts a variety of ecosystems from pinyon pine, juniper and scrub oak forests at the rim, to the shady and vertical inner canyon walls, and down to the riparian community along the Gunnison River.